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Does A Resume Need References

Enumerating Duties And Responsibilities Instead Of Achievements

Where Do References Go on My Resume?

The best way to describe your previous job descriptions is not through outlining your duties and responsibilities but by your achievements. Talk about what you accomplished while handling the position and include numbers to better illustrate your achievements. For example, instead of writing headed the sales team, consider led the sales team to exceed sales target by 50% remember that number thing!

How To Deal With Professional References

Having said all that, great professional references could be the secret sauce that seals the deal. If you were a speechwriter for President Barack Obama, hopefully that would appear somewhere in your employment history, and possibly in your summary. But if your friend Barack has offered to vouch for you to future employers, think twice before you include his private email and personal cellphone on your public resume.

You could include this info in a separate attachment, or even as part of your cover letter. But does it belong in your public resume? Most experts would say no, and Barack Obama would probably agree.

Rather Than Putting References On Your Resume Type Them Up On A Separate Sheet Of Paper

Include the person’s first name and last name, current title and company name, email address, and phone number. Be sure to check with each of your references ahead of time to confirm that the person is willing to be your reference and to verify which phone number and email address they’d like you to share with employers.

It’s also helpful to add a line that explains to the reader how you’ve come to know this reference. For example, it could be as simple as mentioning that you worked together in Company XYZ’s marketing department from July 2015 to November 2017 or that another reference was your direct supervisor at ABC Institute between 2018 and 2019. You don’t have to write a paragraph explaining your relationship to a reference, but it’s nice to provide the employer with a little context.

When you type up your references, considering using the same header information and font style that was used for your resume so that the documents appear to be part of one overall package, even if they’re not attached to one another.

Also Check: How To List Multiple Jobs At Same Company On Resume

Can I Ask A Family Member Or Friend For A Reference

You might be wondering, well my friend or family member is well-spoken and they know me better than anyone else, so can I use them as a reference?

The answer is no, that would be a bad idea.

Though they might know you well enough, they arent reliable references in the eyes of the recruiting professional. Their personal relationship with you makes them biased.

Why Do Employers Ask For References

resume references

Employers ask for references because they want to gain a larger perspective of who you are and what expertise you bring to the job. They may ask to see references for any of the following reasons:

  • To learn about your character: Providing a reference from someone you’ve built a relationship with gives employers a new idea of your personality and work ethic.

  • To verify your work history or educational experience: Some employers like to make sure job applicants provide truthful information on a resume and cover letter.

  • To check your background: Certain jobs include a more rigorous application process that involves checking with references to prove your identity and qualifications before moving on to the next step in their hiring procedure.

  • To check if you’d be a good fit for their organization: Contacting a reference to learn about your qualifications and personality allows employers to better determine how well you’d fit into their workplace.

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Who Is A Good Reference For Your Resume

Its important that all the references in your resume are all deliberately selected individuals.

Everyones aunt thinks that they are special, but what does your previous manager think about your work ethic?

To figure out whos a good reference for you, you should take personal experience into consideration: that means what stage in your career youre currently in.


Because youd list different people at different points in your career.

If you are a student or recent graduate with little to no work practice, you would want to get references from:

  • Guidance tutors or counselors
  • Course teachers and professors

Any of these people can speak positively about your best skills, qualities, and experiences.

When you have some professional background, however, even at an entry-level position, you have more variety in selecting a good reference.

You could use former colleagues or managers as well as project, master, doctorate supervisors from your most current studies.

If you are a professional candidate, this process becomes simpler as your preferred references will be more acquainted with giving and requesting references.

  • If you dont have a lot of professional references to count on, you can reach out to just about anyone that can provide you with a valuable character reference.
  • If a friend works in the company you are applying to, you could also use them as a reference.

Other important things you should consider:

Find people who can properly display all of the above for you.

Do You Put References On Your Resume

Some sites say to include them and others say they’re a waste of space.

Figured I’d get some opinions from fellow IT folks.

Absolutely not. Your resume will get consumed into databases and passed around to different recruiters even if you don’t directly engage with them.

One of my worst experiences was working with a sleazeball recruiter years ago, and before he would even submit me, he demanded references. I complied My references, one of whom was a very senior level manager who kind of took me under his wing at a previous shop, apparently got a call from the recruiter with a job that he’d be a great fit for. Apparently the recruiter was adding my references to his rolodex. It made me look incredibly bad to my references Even worse, as has come up recently on this subreddit, one of the large companies for whom I worked has a policy against giving references. Most people just ignore it, but if you make it a public thing… Don’t poke the bear.

These days, I treat my reference sheet with far more reverence: As always, I’ll warn each references that a call may be coming, and I won’t give the names over unless I’m sure that it’s something worthwhile. And I expect anyone for whom I am a reference to do the same for me.

Oh, and keep at least three versions of your resume:

and a text version of each version in advance. That way when you hit a ATS that needs plaintext, I can just copy/paste and not worry about artifacts/etc.)

You have references?

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How Many References Should You Have

Most job seekers should have between three and four references on their reference page.

However, if youre applying for a position that requires extensive vetting like a senior-level role, you should include between five and seven professional references.

But remember that all of your references should be high quality. Each reference should be able to meaningfully attest to your professional strengths and character. Dont include more references just to hit a higher number.

How To Format References On Resume With Enhancv

Do You Put References On A Resume? How Many References Do I Need To Give The Hiring Manager?

First, browse through Enhancvs resume examples and grab a proven template for your job position.

Next, youll be taken to a page that guides you through how to create a resume for your specific industry. When you land on this page, click on the use this example button:


Now you have access to a proven resume template for your job position thats gotten candidates like you hired. Youll be inside Enhancvs editor app which should look like this:

Once youve made it this far, youre free to rephrase and change the information with your own details. Building a resume like this is much easier than starting on a blank canvas. To create a resume references section, you simply change the resume section heading to references and include them.

Heres how this can look:

Its really simple just add their contact details. Youre free to add a short description but I dont recommend it because space is sacred.

Besides, the information will be shown any through the relevant resume sections e.g. work experience if theyre done correctly.

When you highlight key details by using color, it improves the resume format since its easier to skim through. Not only do you save the hiring manager time by helping them find what theyre looking for, but theyll notice the key details first.

Since references on a resume arent compulsory and theyre only really needed if the hiring managers ask for it, you should replace this section with something else.

Its different.

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Including References On A Resume Is Simply A Waste Of Space

You only get a small number of pages, usually 12 pages in the private sector, to share your career narrative and convince employers that you are qualified for the job they’re filling. Don’t waste any of this precious resume space to include references something an employer won’t need to look at until you’re much further along in the candidate selection process.

Instead, focus on providing the details that will convince a recruiter or hiring manager to contact you for an interview. Remember, your resume is designed to get you the interview. The details you highlight on the resume should support this goal.

While it varies from company to company, most employers won’t ask for your references until they’re ready to reach out to them. This typically doesn’t happen until you’ve made it through the initial interview rounds and are among the final candidates for a job. If, for any reason, an employer wants your references earlier in the process, rest assured they’ll give you a chance to provide them. There’s no need to place references on your resume when they won’t be used until you’re one of the final candidates.

That said, you should brainstorm a list of potential references as soon as you start submitting job applications so you’re ready when an employer requests your references.

How To Request A Reference

When you give out someone’s name as a reference, be sure that you have permission to use them as a reference and let them know they may be contacted. Provide some information about the job you have applied for, so your reference can relate your experience to the job and give you the best possible reference for the job. You also might provide the person with an updated resume or list of your skills and qualifications.

If possible, select people who can speak to your skills and qualifications as they relate to the job youre applying for. Only choose people who you know will give you a positive recommendation. These are typically employers, business acquaintances, professors, or even customers or vendors.

Read Also: How Many References For A Resume

Dont Put References On Your Cv Do This Instead

Should you put your references on your CV?

I get asked this question a lot, and the short answer is No

Like many candidates, you may be tempted to include references within your CV in an attempt to be transparent, and provide recruiters with some early social proof of your abilities. And that is totally understandable.

However, the benefits of leaving your references out of your CV, far outweigh the benefits of including them.

In this post, I will explain the reasons why you shouldnt add your references when writing your CV, and what you can do instead to prove your value as an employee.

Should I Include References If My Resume Is Too Short

Resume Format References , #ResumeFormat # ...

No. Do not include references just to pad a short resume. If youre just starting out in the world, like a high school or college student who hasnt graduated yet, pump up your resume with your academic achievements, summary statement, internships, volunteer work and/or job-related skills. Tell your own story, and dont expect someone else to tell it for you.

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Who To Ask For References If Youre A Seasoned Professional

  • Past employers. They can vouch for your work skills, overall performance and describe how you interact with colleagues and supervisors.
  • Direct supervisors. They know you the best and can vouch for you when it comes to your transferable skills and work ethic.
  • Professional mentors. They have a solid understanding of your personality and receptiveness to training and feedback.

Also, think about the relevancy of your reference. How recent is it? Does it come close to the nature of the job youre applying for today?

Rrecent references should naturally be your first choice. Using someone you worked with years ago as a reference may look like youre trying to hide something.

But if an older reference is more relevant to the job youre applying for now, dont hesitate to put it on your resume regardless of age.

Why Are References On A Resume No Longer Used

Sort of like video killed the radio star, we can thank the internet for killing the idea of references on a resume. The short answer is: references on a resume are usually sensitive information and should not be widely distributed due to privacy concerns. Theres also the idea of digital etiquette, which dictates you shouldnt mention people will-nilly, opening them up to unexpected calls and messages.

Before the 1990s, when you couldnt send mail without licking a stamp, resumes were relatively private documents that were printed on paper, enclosed in an envelope and dropped in a mailbox. Sure, a resume might be passed around an office, hand to hand, but this didnt make the references names, addresses or phone numbers accessible to millions.

That all changed with the electronic revolution, which turned resumes into digital documents that actually could be accessible to millions. Today you can post your resume on LinkedIn or any number of other totally public job-search websites. So do you think your old boss would be thrilled to know that youve put his name, title, employer, phone number and email address in front of potentially billions of people? Probably not.

People today are far easier to find and much easier to contact no Pony Express needed. And if employers DO want references, you can send them in a personal email, which unlike a resume does entail a certain expectation of privacy.

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When To Put References On A Resume

So, if it is typically not expected to have references included on an initial resume, when is the best time to include references on a resume?

Creating a reference section or page can be necessary depending on a number of situations, including:

  • If the employer has specifically requested for references to be included in the job description
  • If you have progressed further down the hiring process and have been asked to provide references before or after an interview
  • If you are applying to governmental or institutional position, such as a federal job, that will require strong references and a background check

Quick Tip: If you have impressive references, such as a company CEO or another recognizable figure, be sure to make these the most noticeable references and the first ones you list in your reference section.

Overall, the golden rule is to wait to provide references until they are requested.

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Hire An Essay Writer To Help With School Stress

Life is stressful enough as it is without adding schoolwork to the mix. Classes call for intense focus, and homework is a drain on your time and energy. Even without taking on extra classes and assignments, the workload is often overwhelming. Considering the elevated stress levels of college, its no wonder so many students drop out of school and never go back.

If youre stuck in a rut with no way out, an academic writing service is an easy solution you should consider before giving up on a degree. Outsource a couple of essays and have a good nights sleep, and youll be able to think clearly and decide if you can handle college after all, with a bit of outside help. Of course, hiring a professional to write an essay for you wont cure depression or anxiety. Still, it should alleviate the symptoms and provide the much-needed time to seek professional psychological help.

After all, college is supposed to be full of fun and opportunities. So dont let the unmanageable workload pull you down. Instead, be smart about delegating homework to safeguard your mental equilibrium and career prospects.

Can I Include References Without Their Permission

No way! Youre buying a one-way ticket to unemployment hell if you blindside former employers by listing them as references on a resume without even checking with them first.

A job search is a process, and you cant just skip a bunch of steps. If you used to be Bill and Melinda Gates nanny, you cant just put their private contact info on your resume without getting their permission first.

If you need character references on a resume, reach out to your most promising prospects. How do you ask someone to be your reference? Explain what youre up to, what kind of job youre seeking and why you need a reference. If you used to work for Warren Buffett, hes probably busy earning another $1 billion today, but he might have five minutes to dash off a note saying you were a great bookkeeper.

Speaking of which, instead of seeking permission to publish their contact info, why not ask former employers for a short testimonial about what an awesome employee you were? You can probably get far more mileage from a professional reference letter than from a phone number that Elon Musk doesnt answer anyway.

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